Monday, February 10, 2014

A Date With My Son {A Moms Guide to taking her toddler son out on a fun & memorable date}

Thinking of fun things to do with your toddler can be a challenge - will they scream and make a scene in public? Will they fall all over the floor? Will they not want to sit still in their stroller while you're out? These are all common questions that parents of toddlers ask themselves before they step foot out of the house. Some days it seems like the world is caving in and there's nothing you can do to make your toddler mind, but sometimes a change of scenery…a date if you will, makes all the difference.

For me, it's been one of those weeks. I had the flu for the better part of the week and Little Mister has been going absolutely stir crazy. After Little Mister having the run of the backyard for two days in a row I told myself that today would be different, today I would get us both out of the house. We needed it. So I asked myself where we could go and before I knew the answer we were out the door. 

Whether you're looking to take your son on a quick date, or an all day outing, I have some ideas and tips for you! These are some of my favorite things to do with Little Mister and how I get through them without wanting to pull out my hair!

Go To Lunch
Take your little one out on a lunch date! You don't need to go to a place that makes you want to cry yourself to sleep at night (such as Chuck E Cheese or Peter Piper Pizza), you can go to a restaurant of your choosing and enjoy yourself. 
-Request a booth
-Order your little one something you know they'll enjoy
-Bring something special of theres to keep them entertained such as a favorite book or toy car
-Don't be in a hurry

Go to a Family Friendly Movie
For some this may seem like a chore, but it really can be quite enjoyable! Little Mister and I have gone to 3 movies together and he has loved every single one of them! If you're not big T.V. people at home, why not treat yourself and your child to a fun movie date?
-Bring a booster seat with a strap, such as one you would take to a restaurant, and attach it to the movie theater chair
-Bring toddler approved snacks (and mommy ones too!)
-Bring your toddlers blankie or lovie to cuddle with during the show
-Make sure that you don't need to use the restroom during the movie (this can be a chore to bring everything back and forth)
-Learn about your movie theaters policies for leaving a movie early due to an upset child - some theaters will actually reimburse you in the form of a gift card if it is not to far into the movie, so that you can come back on a better day!

Go Shopping
You read that right, I just told you to go shopping with a toddler. I'm insane, right? Wrong! I just have mastered the art of shopping with a toddler! Did you know it was an art?
-Give your toddler the option of their stroller or a shopping cart - let them choose where they want to sit and they will be much happier
-If your budget allows, stop at the toy section first and let them pick out a small $1-$5 toy, this will keep them distracted during the duration of your shopping extravaganza
-Bring snacks and a drink for your little one for when they get board
-Break up your shopping trip with some lunch

Go To The Park
Seems like a no brainer right? Head on out to the park and enjoy the fresh air, for yourself and your toddler.
-Bring a large blanket to set up on the grass as a place to relax
-Bring a few books or their favorite toy car
-Request that they take 5 minute breaks every 20-30 minutes (this is for your sanity and where the books/toy comes in)
-Bring snacks for yourself!

Visit The Zoo
It's the perfect place to check out some new animals and learn their sounds! Pack up a backpack and head to the zoo for the day!
-Bring a backpack full of refreshments and snacks if your zoo allows
-Bring the stroller in, even if you think your child won't use it
-Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!
-Comfy shoes for you and your toddler
-Take your time 

What other fun date options have you and your little one done before? Any other tips you'd add to any of these fun dates?

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  1. This is great! I am making it a point now that I'm home full-time again to take Myka to the library at least once a week, so that's our "date". I also just discovered the gymnastics/kids gym down the street has a HUGE area for kids under 5 to play along with theme rooms for just $4 a day! Definitely going to start utilizing that more often. I love doing fun kid stuff more than "normal" mommy stuff, so does that count as a date too? lol

  2. My daughter is 6 now and too big to fit in the carts. Now we spend most of our time calling for her and reminding her to stay by us while shopping. It's exhausting. If I can remind her that we're doing something fun when we're done with our errands, she usually does alright. As far as actual dates go, I'm not sure that we have any formal ones. I take her to the library, and she's as happy as a clam. That's one of the simple "dates" that we do.

  3. I can remember the first movie outing I took my daughter on and it was to see ET. She was such a good girl and loved the movie. We also went out for dinner to have a pizza buffet and had a great time. Boy I wish I could turn back time sometimes. Now I watch her as she does special events with her own children.

  4. Great post! Park dates are my favorite. Movie dates too!